Suresh Singaratnam: Lost In New York

Born in Zambia but brought up in Toronto, Canada, trumpeter Suresh Singaratnam is formally trained in both jazz and classical music, latterly at the Manhattan School of Music. Lost In New York is an album of original compositions that chronicles the young musician’s early years in the city. It’s a mix of experiences and emotions that are reflected in the tunes, which are divided into three groups of three to reflect the major changes in those early years…
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Ratko Zjaca: Continental Talk

When a group’s credentials include bassist John Patitucci, drummer Steve Gadd and trumpeter Randy Brecker, it’s not an unreasonable expectation to hear some quality jazz. What may be more surprising is that leader, guitarist and composer, Ratko Zjaca and his longtime collaborator, saxophonist, Stanislav Mitrovic, steal the show on Continental Talk. This revelation is almost entirely due to the relative obscurity of these Croatian musicians in the U.S. As a teenager, Zjaca was inspired by performances from both the John Coltrane and Miles Davis groups in his native country. There are a number of middle-eastern styles that have also informed Zjaca’s previous work. Though he has worked with a number of principal talents in jazz, it is his 2004 duo release with Mitrovic, Shades of Spirit (Sam Sam Music), which best demonstrates both musicians’ sweeping creativity…
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Mike Mainieri: Crescent

Nearly forty-five years after the death of John Coltrane, jazz players still feel compelled to negotiate his music. Young cats wrestle with the harmonic complexities and attempt to conquer the saxophonist icon’s mighty energy. Luckily, players like vibraphonist Mike Mainieri and saxophonist Charlie Mariano have made peace with the legend. Their document, in this two-disc set, is a fitting tribute to both the music of Coltrane and Mariano, for this was to be one of his last recordings before passing away in 2009…
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William Hooker: Earth’s Orbit

William Hooker Earth’s Orbit No Business Records 2010

If East Coast is hot and West Coast cool in classic jazz parlance, then composer and drummer William Hooker subverts that tenet with East hot, West hotter in this limited edition, double vinyl set featuring separate bands captured live on each coast. Hooker has a fascination for incorporating other art forms into his performance, be it his own poetry or films, often transcending his free jazz roots to encompass rock and noise sensibilities in the process. But on these sides he focuses firmly on the core business, albeit with some nods to noise, for one of his strongest releases in recent years…
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Los Cenzontles at Americas Society, July 21 2010

Los Cenzontles Americas Society New York, NY Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The California-based 8-piece ensemble came to the crowded Upper East Side room with a selection of contemporary-inflected traditional Mexican music, kicking off with "Hermosissimo Lucero," an a capella number in two voices. That was followed by an original number entitles "Soy Mexico Americano," an up-tempo ranchera led by musical director Eugene Rodriguez on twelve-string guitar. The lyrics speak of the ups, downs and pride of being part of two distinctively different cultural realities…
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PERFORMANCE/TOUR: Jazz in New York

JoAnne Brackeen Quartet (Friday through Sunday) JoAnne Brackeen works with rhythm section of Ugonna Okegwo on bass and Johnathan Blake on drums. Marcus Strickland, tenor and soprano saxophonist, a featured guest on Friday and Sunday. At 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., with an 11:30 set Friday and Saturday, Jazz Standard 116 East 27th Street, Manhattan , (212) 576-2232, jazzstandard…
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VIDEO/DVD: Youtube Gives Users Their 15 Minutes of Fame

As of Thursday, you can subject your friends and family to 50 percent more of your baby making that cute cooing noise or your dog doing that funny dance.

YouTube previously limited uploaded videos to 10 minutes, but is increasing the limit to 15 minutes–the improvement requested most often by YouTube users, according to Joshua Siegel, YouTube’s product manager for upload and video management, writing on a company blog…
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PERFORMANCE/TOUR: Erwin Helfer, Legendary Chicago Jazz/Blues Pianist, in Performance!

IF YOU’RE IN CHICAGO, THEN YOU’RE IN FOR A TREAT!

Legendary pianist, Mr. Erwin Helfer, a jazz/blues/boogie-woogie master, will appear at The Greenhouse Theater (2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, 773-404-7336) on Saturday, August 28, 2010. Helfer appears in conjunction with a benefit for the non-profit group, Chicago End-of-Life Care Coalition (CECC), at 6:00 pm. Tickets are and are available at greenhousetheater.org. Discounted parking across the street at the Children’s Memorial Hospital parking gargage…
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